After cruising to wins over relegation fodder another looms into view the day after the Woolwich scum drop points at home and open up wide the race for third place spot Spurs revert to type and blow it. Again.
With Newcastle losing a win would have at least tied up fourth but of course that might not be enough and so three points was a must then third was in their own hands. But there was a couple of factors to take into consideration. Well having seen off those said relegation threatened side a third shouldn’t pose any problems and Spurs duly played as such and then there’s ‘Arry Redknapp Tactical Genius at Work.
So while ‘Arry did the right thing and didn’t drop Sandro to put Parker straight back in once available – though you could sense he was twitching to bring him on at some point and true to form… more later – the team had to start and play as they had done previous. Bit of zip and purpose. Instead they chose cruise and indifference. Slack and sloppy, that
just have to turn up mentality.
So slack and sloppy that they opened up and let Villa through with an early chance. Luckily it was Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey. So he was quickly closed down by Kaboul – I don’t know who the commentator was thinking about when stating Heskey had lost his lightning pace. To go with this indifference was the standard fair of Bale wandering inside while Danny Rose had acres of Villa Park to himself with no ability to do anything with. It was just screaming again, as were all Spurs fans & media commentators, for the flying Taff to just stay out wide. But no.
On the other side Lennon was coming in too much as well. While van der Vaart was providing the guile and ingenuity Modric was flitting between sublime and inept, Sandro was being a beast. But very little was being created. Given wasn’t showing all his party pieces.
It really cam as no surprise when a Villa player just had a bang from well outside the box and it went. It was their only chance of doing anything. Another case of a Spurs player bottling it, Gallas doesn’t flinch on the shot and it hits his head, which it did anyway, fuller and goes over the bar. Friedel as well you felt gave up early on trying to stop it. And from there you knew that the previous flat back eight of the hosts would be 9 or ten and Spurs would struggle to break it down because they wouldn’t play it right. Instead of width and getting crosses in from the byline it would be all cramped in the middle.
Three minutes into the second half what looked like a body blow probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Rose went through Hutton and was given a straight red card. This meant that for a bit Bale would have to stick to the left.
But you just felt an equaliser wasn’t coming never mind the required winner.
Until the hour was just about to tick over when Sandro just turned the lace away from the lunging Dunne who took the Brazilian out for a stonewall penalty. Though of course not a stonewall goal. It’s Spurs and penalties. Wonder how many could actually watch as Adebayor put it past Given.
After that it was the standard all Spurs with a ton of attempts, well 22, with bugger all on actually on target, well 4 in total including the pen, and Given not overly tested. All while ‘Arry twitched and dithered on the sideline. He was going to bring Defoe on just as Rose was sent off, so that changed his mind and then with the minutes ticking down he took van der Vaart, a likely candidate to score that needed winner, and put on Parker – he just couldn’t help himself. Parker the scorer of oh that’s right no goals the provider of oh yes one goal way, way back.
All I could think at the time was
‘Arry for England!.
After he came out with the usual post-match banalities and excuses but if you can’t beat this Villa side, even away from home, then. One game to go and we need the man who got ‘Arry’s job to do us a favour along with the man who had ‘Arry’s job…
Aston Villa 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur